The unprecedented spread of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on communities, businesses and economies around the world. 

As a response, many businesses around the world are trying to realign their products and services as an effort to be agile and responsive to the current situation. However, the IT sector seems to be reacting to these extraordinary circumstances in a unique way. So, here’s how the IT sector is responding to the coronavirus. 

Being Prepared

The tech industry was comparatively more proactive during this crisis. As the virus broke out in Wuhan and spread across China, the IT industry foresaw its impact on global supply chains. But, more importantly, they understood the importance of halting their operations in order to protect their employees, customers and other stakeholders. For instance, Lenovo was one of the first IT manufacturers to halt their operations – especially since their manufacturing facility is located in the heart of Wuhan. The start of the spread of the coronavirus also saw other tech giants such as Google and IBM cancel their flagship events Google I/O and IBM Think, respectively. Most of these organisations also quickly took steps to enable a large majority of their workforce to begin working from home. 

Helping to reshape the new normal

The IT sector’s response since the pandemic was announced has been momentous in the attempt to maintain business and social activities. Everything from IBM using its Summit Supercomputer for antivirus modelling to Facebook introducing a Coronavirus Information Centre, the IT industry is making new developments that will transform the efforts made by science and health authorities to eradicate the virus as well as the attempt to maintain business continuity through helping to maintain communications between customers and businesses, enhance productivity and facilitating WFH programs. 

Apart from adapting their products to the prevailing conditions, many IT companies have made generous donations supporting efforts to mitigate the effects of this virus. For instance, CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey announced that he is donating $1 billion dollars to COVID-19-related causes. 

 What’s going to happen now?

If the IT sector’s response to this crisis from the beginning has shown anything, it is its ability to adapt to change and readjust its offerings to maintain business continuity while delivering to the interests of their stakeholders. 

While we have experienced similar pandemics (1918-1920 Spanish Flu, Polio epidemic in the 1950s), the circumstances around which the coronavirus crisis is occurring is extensively different. 

How the IT industry responds to this crisis can severely affect the effectiveness of efforts made by Governments, the health industry and many more. Improving on their ability to adapt to change and establish global supply chains will help the IT sector to contribute to mitigating this crisis in powerful ways.